Project Description

Caroline Josephine Prinsep ELLIOTT (nee Brockman), known as Callie was born at home, Reinscourt Busselton, on 29 April, 1901.

Her father was Peter Spicer Brockman and her mother was Carlotta Lousia Brockman, nee Prinsep. Both the maternal and paternal sides of Caroline’s family were from early pioneering families in Western Australia. Her paternal grandfather, Edward Revely Brockman, married Capel Carter Bussell, and her maternal grandfather, Henry Charles Prinsep, married Charlotte Josephine Bussell, both daughters of John Garrett Bussell of Cattle Chosen.

Caroline reflects on growing up on the family property Reinscourt, her home life and family. Her father milked cows and conducted a butchering business, delivering meat to farmers and then Group Settlers.

Her education began in Perth where she lived for six months with her Prinsep grandparents. She attended kindergarten at St George’s Cathedral and started her Primary School education at Wonnerup. She had a governess for a short time and then went to the Busselton School. Later she continued her education at boarding school in Perth, leaving at the age of 14.

She talks of early Busselton, the shops and the social life and touches on the class structure of the time. It gives a very interesting account of life and attitudes of the time.

Caroline was recorded by her granddaughter, Catherine Denney (nee Elliott), then a teenager, in 1978 and this interview was given to the Busselton Oral History Group to add to its collection.

We are very fortunate that Catherine recorded this interview of early Busselton life and families, as there are few oral history interviews of this district, recorded at that time.

The interview ends without any insight into Caroline’s life after leaving school. Her son Frank Elliott, and her daughter, Elizabeth Staite, have provided further information about Caroline’s life from the period from when the interview ends, up until her death in 1989.